One aspect of quilting, that continues to fascinate me, is the history of quilting in America. I am always on the lookout for books that provide historical insight into quilts. For one thing, quilts were often the one artistic avenue that women had in this country. Amish quilts are a prime example of bold quilts with extravagant quilting created by women in a simple, plain society.
I think that I love books as much as I love fabric. I love to browse through shelves at the library, bookstore, or antique shop; looking for examples of books that depict quilting in the past. I have acquired a great many books in many parts of the country. Sometimes, individuals have given me books because they know of my curiosity. My most valued quilting book is a first edition, hardcover, Old Patchwork Quilts and The Women Who Made Them by Ruth E. Finley, that I purchased on eBay. I read an article about Ruth E. Finley years ago and have wanted to find out if we are related. Her initial "E" is for her maiden name, Ebright, which we both share.
My most recent acquistion came from my mother-in-law and is a more recent book called The Perfect Patchwork Primer by Beth Gutcheon printed in 1974, just before the quilt revival of the bi-centennial. My mother-in-law also included a pattern booklet published by J&P Coats, copyright 1945, with examples of quilts using fabrics of the 30's and 40's era. Another unique book find came during a trip to Florida in 2007 with my husband. As we browsed through an antique shop in Mt. Dora, I came across a hardcover, 1974 edition of America's Quilts and Coverlets by Carleton L. Stafford and Robert Bishop. The historical information and detailed photographs provide a wealth of quilt history.
I could probably talk about quilts and books for hours, but need to conclude my thoughts by saying; "Someday, someone will be looking back on this time, and discover a vast array of quilts and information that will add to the history of quilting in America".